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Lesser versus lower

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Messages: 1 - 3 of 3
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Andre Domen (U13933490) on Thursday, 14th February 2013

    I like listening to podcasts that deal with aspects of the English language. A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast posted by an English teacher from india and she said the following: :" The number of pads that the Apple corporation sold is lesser than last quarter"
    Now this doesn't sound correct to me, as I would prefer to say "lower" instead of "lesser". When I got into a discussion with her and mentioned the following example "I got lower marks" she told me that instead of "lower" one should use "lesser marks". Now that can't be right, can it? please help me out on this.
    Thanks in advance.

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by GPY (U15232859) on Thursday, 14th February 2013

    "lesser" is wrong in the first sentence. One number can be less than another, or it can be lower than another, but it cannot ordinarily be lesser than another.

    "lower marks" is the normal collocation. "I got lesser marks" is unusual/marginal.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by GPY (U15232859) on Thursday, 14th February 2013

    Clarification: In my first point above, I mean that you cannot directly say "x is lesser than y", which is essentially what the first sentence is trying to do. It may be possible to use the word "lesser" in relation to numbers in other patterns.

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